Listen on Apple Podcasts | Listen on Spotify | Listen on YouTube

You’ve probably heard that stretching is one of the pillars of an effective fitness plan, right up there with strength training and cardio. 

This same message is shared by personal trainers, group fitness instructors, and coaches around the world:

You need to stay flexible to avoid injury, properly perform various exercises, and stay healthy into old age, and stretching is the best way to do this. 

Others disagree.

Some say that stretching isn’t all that important for improving your fitness, and that it can negatively affect your performance and might not be as helpful for protecting against injuries as was once believed. 

Others say that while stretching may have some merit in certain situations, it’s unnecessary for most people. 

Who’s right? 

Is stretching really an essential aspect of an effective fitness routine, or is it just an outdated ritual based on faulty past assumptions, like the idea we need to eat immediately after every workout or that doing more reps automatically leads to more muscle growth? 

You’ll learn the answer in this podcast.

Specifically, you’re going to learn why people think stretching is important, whether or not stretching helps increase flexibility, prevent injuries, improve performance, and boost recovery and muscle growth, and the right (and wrong) ways to stretch, if you decide to do so.

Let’s dive in.

Time Stamps:

4:01 – Why do we stretch? 

6:50 – How does stretching impact our muscles? 

10:40 – How does stretching impact your fitness and health? 

14:18 – Does stretching help with injury prevention?

16:59 – Does stretching enhance performance? 

22:43 – Can stretching help you gain muscle? 

25:30 – Can stretching help with recovery? 

28:41 – How do I correctly include stretching in my training? 

Mentioned on the show: 

Books by Mike Matthews

What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

+ Scientific References